So let’s be clear about this: Andrew Marin makes his living dancing around in the middle ground between pretending to say, and actually saying, that it’s perfectly okay to be gay. Like others of his ilk who have discovered the benefits to be had by essentially exploiting the gay issue (and even if your audience doesn’t yet, you “progressive” Christian leaders know who you are), Marin trades in the fuzzy, non-committal language that ultimately serves no purpose beyond allowing Christians to feel better about maintaining their conviction that homosexuality is a sin.
By way of demonstrating that—which I only do because I know some of you out there still think Marin truly supports gay people, and I hate to see you wasting your affections—I offer this recent Twitter exchange between Andrew and me:
Andrew Marin: [Part 1] You don’t know all the facts, neither does Dan. Pls come to Boystown & talk to me & all the LGBT folks & activists that [Part 2] love & support us. Open invite always stands. Would love to hang.
John Shore: true! I don’t know all the facts. I did read lots of your work on your site; I never saw you say gay isn’t a sin. 🙁
[Here Andrew greatly surprised me by writing that he has never said that being gay isn’t a sin. I was less surprised when he quickly deleted that Tweet, and in its place wrote:]
Andrew Marin: Let’s hv a convo then. U seem like a guy wanting to communicate the truth & not hear-say. Shame u didn’t reach out beforehand. [Part 2] Just wish convos happen. Problematic when respectable folks don’t take 1 extra step b4 they make public statements.
John Shore: I DID take the extra step: I read the articles by you on your site. That took real time.
Andrew Marin: Then u noticed I focus on cultural engagement regardless of belief system; not focusing on belief alignment. So we going 2 talk?
John Shore: Tell me homosexuality isn’t a sin, and we’ve got ourselves a chat. Don’t, and we don’t–cuz then I already know who u r.
Andrew Marin: Tell me when 2 grown men must hv a prerequisite agreement before they can hv a simple convo? U nervous to talk instead of type?
John Shore: Why would I be “nervous” about talking to you? You play the middle for your own gain. Hardly intimidating.
Andrew Marin: All I want to do is have a real life conversation. Too much scapegoating online w/140 characters; not sufficient.
John Shore: “It’s no sin to be gay.” That was 21 characters. See how easy?
And that’s when Andrew decided to end the conversation.
I don’t expect to hear from him again. But I’m confident that if I do, he won’t say anything beyond how important it is to continue the dialogue, to keep building bridges, to “live in the tension,” to reach out in love, fuzzy, fuzzy, blah, blah, tastes great, less filling. Because selling that kind of sugar-powdered waffle is how Andrew makes his money.
Andrew: If you’d like to say about gay people what you feel you can’t in 140 characters, I offer you this space to do so. I have a lot of readers who don’t believe that same-sex relationships are inherently sinful. I know that they (and I!) would love to hear that you agree with them on that. I sincerely hope that I am wrong in my understanding that you would no sooner unambiguously state that than you would film yourself pushing a gay teenager off a cliff.
My beliefs line up with the evangelical belief system. Scot McKnight and Dan Kimball, who are both widely recognized as leaders of the emergent movement today, are kind of breaking from that whole movement, because they’re saying, ‘Listen, we have a high view of scripture [meaning a literal, inerrant view], we believe in a real traditional interpretation of everything … and that’s where I align myself with, with them two. … Evangelical Christians, look into my eyes, and just know that I believe the same thing you believe … I just live it out in a counter-cultural way … but this doen’t mean I’m flying off to a different theological belief system.
How anyone still takes this guy seriously is beyond me.